Use, microbiological effectiveness and health impact of a household water filter intervention in rural Rwanda—A matched cohort study

Miles A. Kirby, Corey L. Nagel, Ghislaine Rosa, Marie Mediatrice Umupfasoni, Laurien Iyakaremye, Evan A. Thomas, Thomas F. Clasen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unsafe drinking water is a substantial health risk contributing to child diarrhoea. We investigated impacts of a program that provided a water filter to households in rural Rwandan villages. We assessed drinking water quality and reported diarrhoea 12–24 months after intervention delivery among 269 households in the poorest tertile with a child under 5 from 9 intervention villages and 9 matched control villages. We also documented filter coverage and use. In Round 1 (12–18 months after delivery), 97.4% of intervention households reported receiving the filter, 84.5% were working, and 86.0% of working filters contained water. Sensors confirmed half of households with working filters filled them at least once every other day on average. Coverage and usage was similar in Round 2 (19–24 months after delivery). The odds of detecting faecal indicator bacteria in drinking water were 78% lower in the intervention arm than the control arm (odds ratio (OR) 0.22, 95% credible interval (CrI) 0.10–0.39, p < 0.001). The intervention arm also had 50% lower odds of reported diarrhoea among children <5 than the control arm (OR = 0.50, 95% CrI 0.23–0.90, p = 0.03). The protective effect of the filter is also suggested by reduced odds of reported diarrhoea-related visits to community health workers or clinics, although these did not reach statistical significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1029
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Volume220
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Faecal contamination
  • Household water treatment
  • Rwanda
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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